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Library Journal Review
Shogan (former national political correspondent, Los Angeles Times; The Battle of Blair Mountain) offers a vivid account of Harry Truman's rise from a machine politician in Missouri, with Southern roots and slave-owning grandparents, to a man with evolved views on civil rights. After engagingly tracing Truman's early family history and his place in FDR's final administration in the context of U.S. race relations in the 1940s, Shogan focuses on Truman's presidency. With World War II over, black soldiers returned home to face an American society that in many places and circumstances had not changed from earlier Jim Crow days. Shogan illuminates the racial challenges facing the country after the war, asking key questions in the process. While there's no doubt that Truman was involved in transformational changes, including the integration of the armed forces and the civil service, was he truly committed to civil rights for black Americans? Was he guided strictly by political calculations? VERDICT An important book that should be read by anyone interested in postwar U.S. history and the ongoing search for racial justice or presidential or civil rights histories.-Amy Lewontin, Northeastern Univ. Lib., Boston (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.